Rich Media Boosts Viewability and CTRs - and Other Key Findings
Adform recently released the Rich Media Benchmark Report 1HY 2014, revealing some unique insights about the significant trends in display advertising. To capture its essence, we have written this little article for you. Happy reading and don't forget to share it!
More Viewability – Higher Impact
When measuring the effectiveness of the campaigns, we saw a remarkable difference between standard banners and Rich Media banners, especially for visibility/viewability time, click-through rate (CTR) and engagement rate.
For instance, comparing Rich Media banners with standard ones, Rich Media had a 267% higher CTR. Rich Media banners are simply MORE IMPACTFUL to an audience, thanks to their hard-to-miss sizes and the premium space given to them on publisher sites.
The fact that they are visually well integrated with the publisher’s content ensures a pleasant reading experience for the user, but what is important here is that an ad gets viewed, not in a simple standard banner, but in a high-impact format. A bigger size helps the advertiser extend its message as this immediately grabs the attention of the user and increases the chances for interaction with the brand.
High-impact formats such as IAB Rising Stars are here to stay. We have seen a huge restructuring in the design of well-known publishers’ websites in the US, such as NBCNews.com, Gannett’s USA Today and MSN, according to Fourth Source. These websites have already been redesigned to maximise the viewability of the formats. Very recently DIGIDAY mentioned the Chicago Tribune’s re-launch, where the new site has reduced the number of ads on article pages to five, from nine to 11. Moreover, the media also mentioned that worldwide, Hearst Magazines’ sites have been reducing the number of standard units in favour of high-impact ones.
Our numbers for in-screen impressions are also higher for Rich Media banners compared to standard ones, because they are more engaging and creatively executed, and make full use of the ad space, with expandable formats including sidekick, pushdown, billboard and the well-known and successful homepage takeovers. These formats have been proven to increase the exposure to a brand’s ad, which ultimately means the users will remember the message and eventually visit the advertiser’s site later.
Video Killed the Radio Star
Adding video to a banner content is also the key to improving performance and effectiveness. It increases and prolongs users’ attention, which in the end means a huge boost in their interaction with and retention of the brand’s message.
According to our analysis, the time spent watching a video was 8.35 seconds longer for Rich Media banners than for video banners; the option for skipping the ad in a video banner may be the reason for that difference. Users go to video players to view the content they are looking for and tend to skip any video ads. For Rich Media banners with video content, users actively choose to interact with them as Rich Media is meant to be less intrusive to the users’ browsing experience.
Watch Me on Your Smartphone
To make sure that ads do not get missed and that users do remember them, a huge number of advertisers have started to realise the potential of mobile screens. Most mobile users are within arms’ reach of their devices throughout the day, an eye-opening fact for most advertisers, who are now asking for newly developed mobile formats and responsive solutions to meet their advertising needs.
The engagement with our campaigns has shown that engagement times with mobile ads are the longest. Users spent almost 36% longer interacting with our mobile ads than with the other formats, which could indicate that users tend to explore more ads when they “have time to kill” with their mobile screens.
Additionally, there is less placement for mobile formats per site than on a desktop and less space to communicate the brand’s message, which obliges the brand to display clear call-to-action buttons and interactive formats, and this could explain the longer time spent with these ads. Mobile formats have been developed to follow the mobile user experience with swipe, flick and drag functions, which invite higher user engagement.
Now put your glasses on, here comes the hard stuff ;)
Download the full report with all the graphs.